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Console FTP in C#

, 7 Mar 2004
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A basic FTP client in C#.


This is my first attempt at making a useful application using C# and sockets. The program is far from complete but I think it can do the basics for now (upload, download, resume, append). I want to add as many features as possible to this semi-console version so that way, it will be easy to use it in a windows form. I'm the worst when it comes to [GOOD] coding practices/methods so I'll take any advice on how I can make my code more efficient. I wouldn't mind hearing how other people have designed such programs.

Since the initial post, I have been working on and off on the FTP client. Unfortunately, my HD crashed and all my work so I restarted from what I had submitted last October. I'm very happy to see that a few individuals have sampled by code and posted messages. I'm trying to design the class to be modular, so it can easily be used/imported in/to a GUI or Console program, and simple.

If you find any bugs, please post them or tell me. I found a lot as I redid the project. The picture to the left is using CoreFtp in a console and the right is using ExtFtpIa in a form.

-- Update --

I have again rewritten the code, it is much cleaner and uses less lines of code. Unfortunately, I didn't implement a lot of the features I had in my previous two versions because they were unnecessary.


Some of the cool things that it can do so far is queue upload/download commands, resume/append files and establish a data connection using PASV or PORT. I've also commented most of the functions in XML so you can create a comments webpage.

The library is capable of uploading, downloading, resuming and appending and can establish a data connection using PASV or PORT. Text sent by the client, and text received from the server can be captured by using a System.IO.TextWriter object such as Console.Out, or TextWriter.Null (if you don't want to capture the text).

Unfortunately, I don't have full access to a windows FTP server so I was unable to implement WindowsFileNode.Delete. It will throw a NotImplementedException when invoked.

I also included some other classes in the library to send emails (MIME and regular text e-mails), and to retrieve e-mails using a POP3 server.

The Important Classes and Methods


The FtpConnection.Create method is overloaded. One will take a username and password, and the other will login anonymously.

static void Main(string[] args)
    FtpConnection ftpConn = FtpConnection.Create("", 
      21, Console.Out, Console.Out);


ReceiveReply retrieves the reply sent by the server. The method blocks until the reply has been received. What is returned is an and ArpaReply object which has two important properties, a reply code and a reply message.


FileTransfer is an abstract classes that synchronously or asynchronously, uploads or downloads a file to or from a FTP server. The four main classes that derive from FileTransfer are ActiveFileDownload, PassiveFileUpload, ActiveFileUpload, and PassiveFileUpload. When performing an asynchronous file transfer, an IDataTransferAsyncResult is returned which contains a method to asynchronosuly abort a file transfer, and a property, BytesTransferred, that gets the amount of bytes transferred so far.


SendCommand sends a commands to the FTP server. The command to send is selected using the , FtpCommand enumerator. You place the parameters in a string object.

SendCommand(FtpCommand cmd, string param)


DirectoryList is an abstract class to retrieve a directory listing from a FTP server. The classes derived from it are ActiveDirectoryList and PassiveDirectoryList.


FileNode contains an abstract method, FileNode.FromFtpList , that parses the directory listing received from a FTP server to an array of FileNode objects. I made a class for the UNIX and windows file listing. I'm having problems with parsing the listings from some servers (e.x.: doing a directory listing from will generate errors). I didn't create code for WindowsFileNode.Delete because I don't have a windows FTP server to test it on, so for now, it will throw a NotImplemented exception.

Test Code

static void Main(string[] args)
    FtpConnection ftpConn = FtpConnection.Create("", 21, 
      Console.Out, Console.Out);
    //get directory listing
    DirectoryList dirList = new PassiveDirectoryList(ftpConn);
    byte[] data = dirList.GetList(null, Console.Out, Console.Out);
    //parse directory listing
    string list = System.Text.Encoding.ASCII.GetString(data);
    UnixFileNode[] fileNodes = (UnixFileNode[]) new UnixFileNode().FromFtpList(list, 
    //show listing on console
    foreach(UnixFileNode fileNode in fileNodes)


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralProgress bar Pin
Niklas Henricson at 23-Apr-09 3:33
memberNiklas Henricson23-Apr-09 3:33 
How do I implement a progress bar with your code?

Niklas Henricson

QuestionSITE Command for FTP Pin
Shaghnati Mnaohar Goud at 6-Dec-08 14:11
memberShaghnati Mnaohar Goud6-Dec-08 14:11 
Questioncan u given this in vs 2005 Pin
aravind.talasila at 2-Oct-08 22:54
memberaravind.talasila2-Oct-08 22:54 
GeneralA comfortable FTP class in .NET Pin
Elmue at 27-Aug-08 13:23
memberElmue27-Aug-08 13:23 
Jokei need a ftp server and client Pin
k3l00 at 20-Apr-08 1:02
memberk3l0020-Apr-08 1:02 
Generalwelcome messages Pin
ilovesour at 7-Dec-04 11:36
sussilovesour7-Dec-04 11:36 
GeneralAnother free, open-source .NET FTP component Pin
Hans Andersen at 11-Nov-04 10:11
sussHans Andersen11-Nov-04 10:11 
QuestionHow to use your code? Pin
simonsaysmorphosis at 21-Sep-04 14:32
membersimonsaysmorphosis21-Sep-04 14:32 
Generalupload problem Pin
Soshell at 17-Aug-04 6:57
memberSoshell17-Aug-04 6:57 
GeneralRe: upload problem Pin
Hasani at 17-Aug-04 15:30
memberHasani17-Aug-04 15:30 
Generalupload file help Pin
jrmcdona at 1-Jul-04 14:43
memberjrmcdona1-Jul-04 14:43 
GeneralRe: upload file help Pin
Hasani at 21-Jul-04 2:44
memberHasani21-Jul-04 2:44 
Generaltypo? hehe Pin
Brian Mc at 27-Apr-04 3:59
memberBrian Mc27-Apr-04 3:59 
QuestionHow about support other languages? Pin
woto at 20-Mar-04 14:07
memberwoto20-Mar-04 14:07 
AnswerRe: How about support other languages? Pin
woto at 21-Mar-04 5:35
memberwoto21-Mar-04 5:35 
Generalrandom update Pin
Hasani at 28-May-03 14:30
memberHasani28-May-03 14:30 
GeneralGreat but what about a simple example Pin
nsimeonov at 28-May-03 3:31
membernsimeonov28-May-03 3:31 
GeneralRe: Great but what about a simple example Pin
Hasani at 28-May-03 14:19
memberHasani28-May-03 14:19 
GeneralRe: Great but what about a simple example Pin
nsimeonov at 30-May-03 5:27
membernsimeonov30-May-03 5:27 
GeneralRe: Great but what about a simple example Pin
Hasani at 31-May-03 10:01
memberHasani31-May-03 10:01 
GeneralRe: Great but what about a simple example Pin
s2ksim at 25-Mar-04 12:30
members2ksim25-Mar-04 12:30 
GeneralRe: Great but what about a simple example Pin
Hasani at 25-Mar-04 15:37
memberHasani25-Mar-04 15:37 
GeneralRe: Great but what about a simple example Pin
s2ksim at 26-Mar-04 4:13
members2ksim26-Mar-04 4:13 
GeneralRe: Great but what about a simple example Pin
Hasani at 26-Mar-04 21:12
memberHasani26-Mar-04 21:12 
Generalgui raises exception Pin
Tadeusz Dracz at 23-May-03 23:24
memberTadeusz Dracz23-May-03 23:24 

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